Friday, June 14, 2024
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Christmas and parking problems

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Editor,

May I request the Shillong Traffic Police through your esteemed daily to kindly relax parking restrictions in Laitumkhrah at least during the Christmas season? The road from Laitumkhrah Taxi Stand to Beat House is wide enough for cars to park in single file without disruption of traffic. Traffic bottlenecks are only caused when people double park on this route. The traffic policemen only need to deter these inconsiderate drivers in order to achieve smooth flow of traffic. With parking restrictions in commercial areas all over the city, it has become impossible for the public to come to Laitumkhrah during daylight hours for their shopping. As we have seen, the one parking in Laitumkhrah is too small to accommodate even a tenth of the total number of cars. I hope the Shillong Traffic Police will consider my request which is made on behalf of the general public.

Yours etc.,

Hubert Warjri

Shillong

Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS)

Editor,

The report on sub-standard, unhealthy food supplied under SNP is indeed shocking. I am sure the Social Welfare Department is aware about the objectives of the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) which is to improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age group of 0-6 years. According to the above objective the Department has clearly neglected the age group for which this scheme is targeted by providing packaged food containing Monosodium glutamate (MSG) which has been proved to be harmful especially for children of the above age group. Secondly, to reduce the Scheme aims to reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout. By providing substandard, unhealthy food, how does the department expect to reduce the above if they are the ones making things worse? Can our state ever achieve the goal of combating malnutrition The third goal is to enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child through proper nutrition and health education. The above objective clearly stresses on nutrition and health education but the department has completely given mothers the wrong information by encouraging packaged food instead of educating them on the importance of a balanced diet.

The Social Welfare Department of Meghalaya should be well informed that the rate of malnutrition in Meghalaya is very alarming. Majority of the children under 6 years of age from rural areas that are admitted in hospitals in Shillong are suffering from Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM). If the Social Welfare Department conduct a visit to any paediatric ward in any hospital in town, the Department would have realized the seriousness of this situation and might have never thought that the ICDS scheme is a means to siphon off money as reported in your esteemed daily. They would have perhaps implemented the ICDS in letter and spirit as per the objectives.

“Malnutrition is a national shame” as stated by our honourable Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on January 10th 2012. According HUNGaMa (Hunger and Malnutrition) report, 42% of the children under the age of five are underweight; that is nearly every second child in India is malnourished. It is the responsibility of every Indian citizen that every child is fed with nutritious food from infancy as we all have heard of the famous saying that Children are the Future of the Nation.

Yours etc.,

Balasara S Lyngdoh ,

Via email

The Church and 2013 elections

Editor

The role of money in deciding election results has raised concerns in the Church amongst others, prompting campaigns against the malpractice that is ailing Indian democracy .It was recently reported in a local newspaper about the resolve of the Khasi Jaintia Presbyterian Church youth organizations to spread the message particularly to Christian voters to fight against the influence of money in the state assembly elections. A series of seminars and workshops on this topic were organized in certain pockets of East and West Khasi Hills. However, while deliberations in seminar and workshops will be of benefit to a limited number of participants only, what is interesting is the report about the public meeting aiming to spread the message organized by the Church youth organization of Umsaw on the 3rd December 2012 wherein all the election candidates of the Rambrai Constituency also participated along with the church elders. Such public meetings and the solemn promises made then if kept , would surely have a desirable impact .

By rough calculation about 80 percent of our voters especially in the rural areas of the state are Christians be they of whatever denomination. The churches which reach every nook and corner of the State are the only hope and means for spreading the message to the voters that exercising their right to vote is a divine duty to be performed with honesty . I feel that there is nothing partisan if the churches does this. Moreover, the churches cannot appear neutral and without the courage, boldness or energy to represent the cause of social justice for the poor without spreading such a message to their followers. I have read recently that the church-backed Mizoram Peoples’ Forum (MPF) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with major political parties across the state of Mizoram to ensure free and fair state Assembly elections. The MoU with some 27 points urges parties to take major steps to address deceptive election practices. The Forum will also closely monitor if the candidates are buying votes, dropping voters to their polling stations by means of a vehicle, doing door to door campaign, distributing gifts or offering favours for votes. It urges organisations and individuals not to expect any benefits in the form of money or materials from the candidates. While we do expect our churches in the state to be equally proactive in the near future, I do wish that for a start ,the noble initiative taken by the church youth organization of Umsaw is replicated by the churches in unison in all the assembly constituencies before the ensuing Assembly election in the state. It will surely make a difference.

Yours etc.,

R Sawkmie,

Via email

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